Manchester United Foundation has raised over £1.3 million through proceeds from the Legends of the North charity match that took place at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.
The match took place in front of a packed Old Trafford crowd of 48,777, as fans were treated to a game between Manchester United legends and Liverpool FC legends.
The teams, featuring big names from both clubs including Gary Neville, Patrice Evra, Jamie Carragher and Dirk Kuyt, played out a competitive 90 minutes, with plenty of passion on display true to the spirit of the United v Liverpool fixtures.
The game was goalless at half-time, but shortly after the interval Liverpool’s Luis Garcia put the visitors in front. Dimitar Berbatov levelled things up from the spot for United before a brace from Mark Gonzalez gave Liverpool the first-leg advantage ahead of the return fixture at Anfield in September.
John Shiels, CEO for Manchester United said: “Seeing the fans turn out here today in such numbers shows just how important the Foundation is to the club and its supporters. Over the past few years, our work has got bigger and continues to do so given the current socio-economic situation, which is why events like today are absolutely vital.
“It’s been fantastic to see so many families and so many young people in the stadium, being introduced to what the Foundation does, but also to enjoy a game between famous names from both of these great clubs.
There were legends both on and off the pitch during a memorable afternoon at the Theatre of Dreams, with the Liverpool side managed by Sir Kenny Dalglish and United’s by Bryan Robson – assisted by fellow club favourite Andrew Cole.
Robson said: “It wasn't the result we were after on the pitch today, but the lads played fantastically and in great spirits for a brilliant cause. The real winners today are Manchester United Foundation, and the incredible sum raised by our supporters will go a long way in changing lives in our communities.”
In the weeks leading up to the match, some of the players involved including Jaap Stam, John O’Shea, Wes Brown and Quinton Fortune had visited Foundation projects across Greater Manchester in an effort to further highlight the real importance of this fixture.
O’Shea commented: “Any time that you come back to Old Trafford is a special occasion and I’ve loved being back out there today in front of the fans, even if it’s not the result we wanted! It was a competitive game, which is good for the fans, and I’m sure they enjoyed themselves.
“To be associated with Manchester United Foundation is amazing for me – the work that they do is fantastic.
“I wanted to see first-hand where the funds from the legends game will go, so to see these projects, to see that it actually affects families and communities is brilliant and really brings it home.”